Saturday, 31 March 2018

Atlantic Rim (2013)

The recent cinema release of Pacific Rim 2 made me want to rush along and see it. Unfortunately, I couldn't. So I decided on the next best thing. I would finally watch the mockbuster version of the first movie, courtesy of The Asylum. How bad could it be?

There's no need to keep you in suspense here, the answer is very bad, very bad indeed.

The slight plot sees a big monster coming out of the sea to cause some major damage and death, which leads to three people (David Chokachi, Anthony 'Treach' Criss, and Jackie Moore) being placed in giant robot suits and ordered to explore the area, eventually fighting the big beastie. But that only leads to a brief reprieve. There's a bigger and tougher monster coming, and the suits need to be improved for fighting purposes.

Although running for just about 85 minutes, Atlantic Rim still overstays its welcome because the script - written by Richard Lima, Thunder Levin, and Hank Woon Jr - is so slight and undercooked. The three main characters are, essentially, defined by the colours of their robots. Chokachi is red, 'Treach' is green, and Moore is blue. Chokachi is also the wildcard who gets results, obviously, but that doesn't matter when the action scenes take place, sequences that alternate between showing the cast badly pretending to be involved while enclosed in very cheap sets and showing us some bad CGI.

Director Jared Cohn adds nothing to the material either. He relies on the cast and the pacing, neither of which work well enough for even the most undemanding sci-fi/action movie fan. You get the usual selection of recycled sets and footage, you get a lacklustre score that is supposed to be rousing at times, and you get nothing to care about at any point in the film. Despite the stakes that are spelled out for you, nothing matters. Because everything is so badly faked that it's impossible to suspend your disbelief while watching.

Graham Greene is the main familiar face onscreen, playing the general trying to do his job under difficult circumstances, and he is the only reason I don't rate this any lower, even if he's given just as many awful lines of dialogue as everyone else. At least he retains a small iota of charisma, unlike the three bland leads.

This is one to avoid, like a lot of the mockbusters from The Asylum. But I'll end up seeing the second one too, goddammit I just KNOW I will. So expect a review of that at some point.


Brave souls can pick the film up here.
The same R2 disc can be bought here.

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